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Sitges (Spain)

SPAIN | Tuesday, 17 April 2007 | Views [2915]

Nigel sitting on the esplanade in Sitges with the church in the background.

Nigel sitting on the esplanade in Sitges with the church in the background.

Laura writes:

Well, this was our first stop in Europe after spending two to three weeks in South East Asia. Changing continents was exciting for us.

Sitges is located in the region of Catalunya in Spain, where both Catalan and Spanish are spoken. It is a beautiful little town in the Mediterranean and the people there are proud of their culture, background and their independent language.

We stayed in an apartment (one of mum and dad's house exchanges) within a ten minute walk to the beach, through little alley ways and surrounded by lime-stone buildings and quaint shops, cafes and restaurants (similar to those seen on the Greek islands).

The food here was incredible! and even though we couldn't afford to eat in restaurants or cafes (way too expensive), the meats, cheeses, olives stuffed with anchovies, chocolate crossants, pastries etc..etc.. that we bought at the shops were delicious. Food in Spain is definetely tasty to say the least. Even Nigel enjoyed the food!

People in Spain stay up until the early hours of the morning and we were surprised to see kids stay up so late, walking around town and in restaurants with their families. However, from around 1.00pm to 4.00 or 5.00pm, everything closes up for siesta. These, were some of the aspects I really enjoyed about Spain. The customs, family unity, real passion about things and the general lifestyle were very similar to those in Uruguay (not surprising, as they both are, after all Latin countries and therefore have these things in common). Spain was also an interesting experience due to the fact that my ancestors have come from certain regions of Spain and my grand, grand mother on my father's side had even come from this region where we were staying. This is something that I kept in mind from time to time.

It also felt great to finally be able to communicate easily with the locals for the first time on this trip. Not speaking the local language can be a frustrating experience as we found in South East Asia.

The water temperature unfortunately was not so inviting and the days we stayed there were not warm enough to brave the cold sea. We did go for nice walks along the beach though, and on two or three occasions it was even warm enough to sunbake. I think we've been spoiled by the warm Queensland weather and ocean temperatures. Also, we had just been in South East Asia with 35 to 40 degree temperatures and really warm seas which didn't help the situation in Sitges.

The Gothic walking tour was also great, as we got to see the ancient part of Barcelona with its old buildings. It was interesting to see Roman ruins with newer buildings (churches etc.) built on top of them.

We also went to Mont Serrat which is a very popular place to visit. It has a monastery and a very old church dating back to the 17th century. Both of these buildings were built on the side of a steep mountain (approximately 1,500 meters high) with great views all around. Even though none of us are religious (Mum, Dad, Nigel or I), the history and the beauty of the church with its ornaments, paintings, carvings, statues, as well as its incredible size, was very inspiring. In contrast to this, it is sad to think that these riches (precious metals) were stolen from South America after its discovery by Colon, as well as from donations made by common people that perhaps could not afford to part with their money.

It was here in Spain (in Barcelona), while sightseeing, that Nigel lost or had his wallet stolen (we are not sure) from his back pocket. Even though we had been over cautious during our travels in South East Asia, on this occasion, Nigel let his guard down and the wallet with most of our credit cards, driver's license etc. was gone. Panic stations once again! but this time we did not recuperate the wallet like we did our backpacks. This time we were not so lucky. It took two or three weeks to finally get cards re-issued by the banks and we are still in the process of activating cards, re-organising bill payments, etc. (no easy task when you are overseas!).

Tags: adventures

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